Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. ix-xi

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xiv

This book was written for two audiences: for political theorists interested in the problem of dissent in a democratic society, and for ancient historians, classical philosophers, and students of Greek literature. The main text is written with both audiences in mind; there, all Greek is translated and transliterated, and all...

Abbreviations

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p. xv

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Introduction: Why Dissent? Why Athens?

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pp. 3-13

The Western tradition of political and ethical thought crystallized in the Greek city-state of Athens in the late fifth and fourth centuries b.c. But why just there and then? And why have ancient Greek discussions of politics—of power and justice, individual and community, deliberation and enactment, class conflict...

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1. The Problem of Dissent: Criticism as Contest

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pp. 14-51

With these lines an anonymous Greek author, writing sometime in the latter half of the fifth century B.C., introduces a short, polemical tract called The Political Regime of the Athenians (Athēnaiōn politeia). The tract was already erroneously attributed to the well-known Athenian author, Xenophon, in the...

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2. Public Speech and Brute Fact: Thucydides

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pp. 52-121

The author of the work we now call “The History of the Peloponnesian War” introduces his text with the statement that Thucydides the Athenian began working on his account of the war between the Athenians and the Peloponnesians right at the beginning of the war (431 B.C.) because at the time he expected...

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3. Essence and Enactment: Aristophanes Ecclesiazusae

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pp. 122-155

Aristophanes’ comedy Ecclesiazusae (Assemblywomen) was produced in the late 390s B.C.—a dozen years after the end of the Peloponnesian War, the oligarchy of the Thirty, and the restoration of democracy.1 Like all classical Athenian dramas, it was written for production at a major civic festival (the City...

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4. Justice, Knowledge, Power: Plato Apology, Crito, Gorgias, Republic

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pp. 156-247

In contrast to our near-total ignorance about the lives of Ps.-Xenophon, Thucydides, and Aristophanes, there is a relatively extensive and reliable ancient tradition about the circumstances of Plato’s life. Various details of the tradition may be wrong, but we can say for certain that Plato was born into an...

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5. Eloquence, Leadership, Memory: Isocrates Antidosis and Areopagiticus

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pp. 248-289

In turning from Plato to his fellow citizen and close contemporary Isocrates (436–338 B.C.), we move generically from metaphysical dialogue to epideictic rhetoric. Intellectually we turn from the ambitions of an “epic theory” that attempts to remake the world, to a more quotidian criticism that hopes...

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6. Political Animals, Actual Citizens, and the Best Possible Polis: Aristotle Politics

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pp. 290-351

The author of the Politics was not a citizen.1 A native of Stagira, a northern Greek town on the Chalcidian peninsula probably destroyed by Philip of Macedon in 348 b.c., Aristotle (384–322 B.C.) arrived at Plato’s Academy in 367. He lived in Athens for twenty years as a metic, and then spent a dozen years as...

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7. The Dialectics of Dissent: Criticism as Dialogue

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pp. 352-374

This measured judgment on the reestablishment of Athenian democracy in the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War was written between 332 and 322 B.C. by a member of Aristotle’s Lyceum—possibly by Aristotle himself, but I tend to suppose by an anonymous student. Ps.-Aristotle’s text, entitled, like...

Bibliography

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pp. 375-402

Index Locorum

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pp. 403-407

General Index

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pp. 409-417